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Hand Beading/Sequins Wedding Gown

sandimac | Posted in General Discussion on

Help, one and all. I am a newbie to the site (but not to Threads, or to creative textiles), and have offered to make my DD’s wedding gown for July 2009. We have agreed on the basics, the taffeta purchased, the pattern (which I will alter to her ‘just a bit higher here’ and ‘a bit poofier there’), but now there is the question of beading/embellishment. She is not a glitter girl, but is wearing a full crystal crown (Swedish custom), so we need to create something that will accent, but not overpower. Her FH and my husband will both be in formal kilt (ruffles included), so a bit of romanticism is ok.

Here’s the kicker…where do I start to find patterns for embellishment…googled my face off, and I’m fresh out of ideas, and time is tickin’ away!?!

Edited 10/5/2008 9:15 pm ET by sandimac


  1. sewchris703 | | #1

    Go to your local bridal shops and look at the beadwork on actual wedding gowns. Most of them follow the lace appliques or the embroidery of the gown. Those that are beaded on the fabric consist of vines, leaves, and stylized flowers. The Singer Reference Library book on how to sew wedding gowns might have a chapter on beading.


  2. JanF | | #2

    If it was me - and correct me if i have got the wrong end of the stick - if she is Swedish, then why not investigate using Swedish Whitework but adapt it to suit?

  3. BridalTamer | | #3

    I work in a bridal shop and would not reccommend "going to your local bridal shop" to look at the beadwork. Most shops are very protective of their gowns and don't allow anyone to handle them except the bridal consultants. This isn't to be rude to the customers, but to protect the gowns from being marked.  I would suggest looking at bridal gown websites to get an idea for the beading your daughter likes, then checking bridal magazines.  Casablanca, Private Label, Maggie Settoro, Mori Lee ...so many gown labels, each with a distinctive beading style. Hope this helps.

  4. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #4

    Embellishing the dress is a matter of what she likes as well. Check out the bridal mags and sites to see what she likes. If she is wearing crystals on her headpiece, then a smattering of crystals on her dress would be nice. They can be purchased at any good bead shop or online. You could just scatter them rather than do a pattern. Cathy

  5. Paulajeanne | | #5

    I have found several different styles and types through Vogue Fabrics on line.  Some are heavily beaded and some are just the embroidery.  Good Luck

  6. MESmith512 | | #6

    I would also turn to Vogue - but to Vogue Patterns. Check out the latest pattern book. Sometimes they have dress designs with beading patterns which come with the patterns in the Evening Wear section, and also in the children's (christening gowns) and craft sections. Folkwear occasionally has embellishment suggestions for their patterns as well. If you are looking for more traditional patterns for beading, there should be books on Swedish folk art (embroidery, knitting, etc.) available from your local library, or through inter-library loan [excuse an old ex-librarian] which you might be able to adapt.

  7. Ceeayche | | #7

    When I beaded my wedding gown, I followed the guidelines of my mother's lace. 

    When I beaded my cousin's debutante dress I created a simple Polka dot patter with the pearls and sequins layered over each other around the neckline and hem.

    In both cases I scoured bridal magazines and vogue patterns for ideas and had them taped up in the room where I was working as inspiration. Having a dressmaker's dummy was helpful because I could walk away from it and look at it in different lights.  My wedding was at night so I was interested in something that played off the candlelight.

    I also used a quilter's hoop to do the beading on the hem of both garments and the body and train of the wedding dress.  It was helpful in that it made it easier to see the effect and also I didn't have to over-manipulate the fabric by hooping and unhooping large areas.

    Good luck with your project.

    1. KharminJ | | #8

      I like the idea of using a quilter's hoop - like having an extra pair of hands ...

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